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Alumni Affairs


Inductees into the Charles DeWild Hall of Fame include student-athletes, coaches, staff members, and special contributors.

Student-athletes must have received their degree from Rockford University, graduated a minimum of five years before nomination, and obtained a minimum of all conference/all distict honors. 

Coaches and staff members may be nominated based on winning, awards received, or contributions/distinction brought to Rockford University through their service to the school.

Special contributors must have made a significant impact through their work in external areas related to the Rcckford University Athletics Department.

Congratulations to our 2018 Hall of Fame inductees!

Heidi Burkhart ’02/’09 entered the Chuck DeWild Hall of Fame as one of the top female athletes in Rockford University history, and was a major reason behind the turnaround of the women’s basketball program in the early 2000s. Rockford won 49 games and posted back-to-back second place finishes in the Northern Illinois Iowa Conference (NIIC) during Burkhart’s three years as a Regent, after winning just six games in the previous three seasons combined. In the 2000-01 season, the Regents earned their second ever berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament, with their other trip coming during the 1986-87 season. Burkhart’s accolades extend over all three of her seasons as a Regent. Heidi currently serves as a teacher in the Harlem School District in Loves Park, IL.

Troy DeCook ’03/’06 became the first member of the 2002-03 men’s basketball hall of fame team to be individually enshrined in the Chuck DeWild Hall of Fame. DeCook was a four-year member of the Rockford University men’s basketball program which steadily improved in each of his four seasons. DeCook was a focal point of the 2002-03 team that went 24-4, including a perfect 12-0 mark in conference play. DeCook made a profound impact on the Rockford University men’s basketball team and was a key reason why the Regents won back-to-back NIIC Championships and hosted an NCAA Division III Tournament game. Troy currently serves as a Sales Manager for TTI in Houston, TX.

Marcus Howard ’05 became the first member of the Rockford University football program to be enshrined in the Chuck DeWild Hall of Fame. Howard played on the inaugural football team in 2000 and was a major reason for the program’s early success. In his senior season in 2003, the Regents posted a 7-3 overall record, a program-high for wins in a season, and finished second in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference South Division. To this day, Howard remains one of the most decorated football players in school history. Marcus currently serves as a Behavioral Specialist for at Risk youth in Kennewick, WA.

Jimmy Dercks ’12 entered the Chuck DeWild Hall of Fame following a highly-successful four-year career as the starting shortstop for the Rockford University baseball program. The Regents posted a 72% winning percentage in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) during his four years as a Regent.  Dercks is one of the most decorated four-year RU baseball players in recent history, earning awards and honors throughout his entire time as a Regent. Jimmy currently serves as a Mental Health Specialist in Appleton, WI.


Complete listing of Hall of Fame members


Department Information

Office of Alumni
Johnson Alumni Center
5050 E. State Street
Rockford, IL 61108
toll free: 877-273-4368
Kristyn King '89, Director of Alumni Affairs

Mon-Fri - 8:30 am to 5:00 pm

2018 Reunion Photo Gallery

10/11/2018 9:48 am

Regents Golf Playday 2018

06/27/2018 1:49 pm

Regents Golf Playday 2018

The Regents Golf Playday is a beneficial fundraiser on behalf of our student-athletes and supports enhancement to the overall student-athlete experience. Thank you for assisting in the success of this event and for helping our student-athletes at Rockford University!

Event Details

Timber Pointe Golf Club, Poplar Grove
Monday, August 6, 2018

  • Shotgun start at 10 am (Registration begins at 8:30 am)
  • Best Ball scramble format
  • Lunch and dinner will be provided
  • Team awards for random finishes

Sponsorship Opportunities

Golf Cart Sponsor – $5,000+

  • Industry exclusive presenting sponsor
  • Two Foursomes
  • Dinner tickets for 4 additional guests
  • Corporate Recognition in promo materials
  • On-course signage (minimum of two)
  • Signage on all golf carts

Eagle Experience – $2,500+

  • Industry exclusive presenting sponsor
  • One foursome
  • Dinner tickets for 4 additional guests
  • Corporate Recognition in promo materials
  • On-course signage (minimum of two)

Birdie Bundle – $1,000

  •  One foursome
  • Dinner tickets for 4 additional guests
  • Corporate Recognition in promo materials
  • On-course signage (one)

Longest drive sponsor – $750

  • One foursome
  • Corporate recognition in promo materials
  • On-course signage (one)

Par Package – $575 ($75 Savings)

  • One foursome
  • On-course signage

Adopt-A-Coach – $450 ($50 Savings)

  • One foursome w/ 3 of your own golfers
  • + one RU Coach One RU Coach of your choice 
    (Caution: coaches are available on first-come first-served basis & we
    can’t vouch for their golf skills or lack thereof!)

Hole Sponsor – $150

  • On-course signage



To Learn More About This Play Day, Call:

Rockford University
5050 East State Street
Rockford, IL 61108

Timber Pointe Golf Club
(Directions To Course Available Online)
5750 Woodstock Road
Poplar Grove, IL 61065

Golf Playday Registration

06/26/2018 5:19 pm

Registration / Player Entry / Sponsorship

Entry fee of $125.oo per golfer includes:

  • Greens fees and cart
  • Complimentary gift
  • Lunch, on course drinks and dinner following the event

Social Media Guide

04/04/2018 3:44 pm

Social Media Guide

Give your social media an RU Day of Giving makeover:

Social Media Profile Photos:


Facebook Profile Photo Frames:

An RU Day of Giving frame is available on Facebook to overlay on your current profile photo. To apply the frame follow these steps:

1.  Go to your Facebook profile
2. Click your current profile photo
3. Select “Add Frame”
4. Search for “Rockford University”
5. Select “Use”


Facebook Profile Cover Photo:

Right click the images above to save to your device.
Need help with with changing your Facebook profile and cover photos? Click here to learn how.

Spread the Word

Be sure to use #RUNeedsU and #RUDoubleYourGift on social media!

Below are several suggested posts you can personalize and share on your own social media accounts.

Day of Giving 2018 is here and #RUNeedsU! Gifts at any level make a positive impact on Rock Solid Regents. #RUDoubleYourGift Today we celebrate philanthropy and Rockford University! Double your impact by making a gift at
#RUNeedsU #RUDoubleYourGift
Join me on this Day of Giving in support of Rockford University.
#RUNeedsU #RUDoubleYourGift

Share Your Story

Share any aspect of your Regent experience that was particularly important for your growth and development. What made your experience at Rockford University so meaningful? Was it an internship? Hands on research? Or maybe your experience studying abroad?

We want to hear your story on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You may also consider sharing personal photos from your time as student at RU with your post.

To go back to our Day of Giving hub, click here.

Office of Development
Johnson Alumni Center
5050 E. State Street
Rockford, IL 61108
fax 815-226-4081
Jeffrey Hohn, Charter Fund Coordinator

Mon-Fri - 8:30 am to 5:00 pm

Stay Connected

Follow Rockford University on social media for the most recent updates!

2017 Reunion Photo Gallery

01/05/2018 10:08 am

Study Buddy Order Form

11/06/2017 4:54 pm

Study Buddy Order Form

  • Price: $25.00 Quantity:
  • If sending to more than one student, list individually on new lines.
  • For multiple messages, separate with blank line.
  • $0.00

Reunion Registration

08/25/2017 6:02 pm

Reunion registration for 2018 Homecoming is now closed. 

For questions, please contact Lauren Prchal at or call 815-394-5190

Thank you

2017 Summer Issue

06/07/2017 10:58 am



Greetings from President Fulcomer

As I reflect back on the last academic year, the first of my presidency, several words come to mind—words that you will see woven throughout this issue of the Catalyst. Words such as longevity, service, opportunity, and success. I trust that you will be impressed, as I am, by the individuals, events, and programs that are highlighted in the following pages.

read more

Retiree Profile – David Sytsma, Ph.D.

Harry Truman is credited with saying, “There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know.” For the last 32 years, Dr. David Sytsma made sure that his students continued to expand their knowledge based on thorough studies of the past.

read more

Retiree Profile – Don Martin, Ph.D.

Don Martin cannot tell you why he was first swept away by ancient Latin and Greek, the classics and antiquity—only that “there was some bug in me all along that got me going in this direction.”

read more

Andie Bent: Studying Abroad ‘Empowering’

Andie Bent had not experienced much outside her “vinyl-sided neighborhood” in small-town Roscoe, Ill., when she enrolled at Rockford University. Now a senior, she has visited more than 20 European cities in the past year, spending her last two semesters abroad at the...

read more

Commencement ’17

Rockford University awarded undergraduate and graduate degrees to more than 350 students from 18 states and six countries at its 163rd Commencement on Saturday, May 13, at the Coronado Performing Arts Center in downtown Rockford. Barbara Pierce Bush, CEO of Global...

read more

Day of Giving tops $50,000 to support student scholarship

On Wednesday, April 26, Rockford University held its third annual Day of Giving. Through social media and email outreach, alumni and community members again came together in a unique way with tremendous impact. This year’s Day of Giving supported Rockford University’s...

read more

Catalyst is published by the Communications & Alumni offices within the Institutional
Advancement division.

Letters to the editor, feedback and feature suggestions are welcome. Deadline for correspondence to be considered for the next issue of Catalyst is March 15, 2017.

Contact information: Office of Communications, 815.394.5041 or

Editor: Rita Elliott
Designer: Paul Hecker

Share your GOOD NEWS with us!
Please send updates to
Pictures also welcome!





Laura Monahan
Andrea Anderson
Deborah Breiter
Kimberly McCullough
Elaine Sharpe

Led by Assistant Professor and Nursing Department Chair Dr. Laura Monahan, nursing students participated in the Interprofessional Education (IPE) Day at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford on January 18. The yearly event involves team building, health care scenario analysis and simulation. The event hosted approximately 200 students composed of 60 UIC Medical students, 60 UIC Pharmacy students, 10 UIC Nurse Practitioner students, 37 RU Nursing students, and 30 OSF Saint Anthony Nursing students. Additionally, six Performing Arts students took part in the Hospital Discharge simulation. There were 20 Group Facilitators leading groups of 10 students each, composed of Medical, Pharmacy and Nursing students. The five Group Facilitators from RU were: Professor Andrea Anderson, Dr. Deb Breiter, Professor Kim McCullough, Dr. Laura Monahan, and Professor Elaine Sharpe. Group Facilitators were at training sessions on January 11 or 12, and the IPE Day event occurred on January 18.

(The RU team of students and faculty who participated in the IPE Day held at University of Illinois Chicago Rockford.)

Rockford University and the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford are participating in a Bioterrorism Preparedness Project in conjunction with the Winnebago County Health Department, the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office, the Winnebago County Coroner’s Office, and the Rockford Police and Fire departments. This experience will include the RU Nursing, Psychology and Performing Arts departments and the UIC Medical and Pharmacy schools. The planners from RU consist of Nursing Department Chair Dr. Laura Monahan and Associate Professor of Psychology Elaine Sharpe. 




Tara Wood, Ph.D.


Tara Wood

Assistant Professor of English and Writing Program Administrator Tara Wood, Ph.D., was awarded the Community Based Learning (CBL) Innovation Grant for Spring 2017 as part of Rockford University’s commitment to providing students the opportunity to apply skills learned in the classroom to address the needs of the Rockford Community. Dr. Wood incorporated CBL into her RHET 102 Intermediate Rhetoric course by partnering students with The Literacy Council in Rockford, a nonprofit organization that aims to improve the literacy levels and educational/employment opportunities for the Rockford region. Students worked on a project aimed at promoting the council’s fundraising efforts for the 14th annual Rockford Literacy Races marathon held in early May. The project consisted of researching literacy in the Rockford region and drafting research based profiles of adult learners associated with The Literacy Council that were used for promoting the sponsorship of runners for the marathon. Dr. Tara Wood was the lead author on an article published in the May 25 edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education. Dr. Wood’s piece, “Why We Dread Disability Myths” is a critical response to an article published in April by Gail Hornstein titled “Why I Dread the Accommodations Talk.” Dr. Wood critiques Hornstein for perpetuating dangerous and ableism myths about disability and disabled students. Dr. Wood donated the publication stipend for the article to the Society for Disability Studies.




Sean Beckmann, Ph.D.


In an article published May 30 titled “Ticked off: Lyme disease to be an issue this season,” Assistant Professor of Biology Sean Beckmann, Ph.D., shares with the Rockford Register Star | that he expects an increase in the local tick population this season after winter’s brevity and warmth. Pictured above, Dr. Beckmann and Taggart Venegas, biology major, trap a ground squirrel at the Distillery Road conservation Area in Belvidere, Ill., Dr. Beckmann and students collected rodent specimens to test for Lyme disease. Photo courtesy of the Rockford Register Star and photographer Arturo Fernandez.



Kearstin Findley


Kearstin Findley, a senior biology major concentrating in evolution and ecology, was selected for The Ohio State University’s Stone Laboratory’s 2017 Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Scholarship Program. Eight outstanding undergraduate students, four Ohio State students and four students from other Midwestern colleges were selected. The five week program is a competitive, comprehensive research internship that gives students the chance to conduct scientific research in the field alongside top scientists throughout a month, at Stone Laboratory, located on OSU’s island campus on Lake Erie. Students receive a full scholarship to Stone Lab, including lab fee, room and meals and in-state tuition for the 2 credit research experience and 4-credit, five-week course. The program runs concurrently with Stone Lab’s five-week summer term. Students spend their non-class days focused on research, working closely with their supervisors to design an experiment, collect samples and analyze data. At the end of the program, they give a final present ation to their peers and the public.



Dr. Troy Skwor


Dr. Troy Skwor, associate professor of Biology, assisted with expert commentary for two extensive media stories airing in May. WREX, Ch. 13 (NBC), aired “Digging Deeper: Drinking water contamination and the government study that was never released,”an investigative report by Evening Anchor Kristin Crowley about a superfund site located in Rockford and its resulting groundwater contamination concerns. Based on Dr. Skwor’s expertise and research in the field, he also provided comment for the WIFR, Ch. 23 (CBS), story “Superbug Syndrome and the threat of antibiotic resistance.”




Steven Hicks, Ph.D.


Stephen Hicks

Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship Steven Hicks, Ph.D., contributed opinion to the Toronto feature, “Debate: Who should get to speak on campus,” which published online May 1, 2017.




Ron Lee, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor and Political Science Department Chair Ron Lee, Ph.D., led three small-group breakout sessions on the topic of the politics of universalism versus the politics of multiculturalism at the “Welcoming Diversity: Building Bridges of Understanding” community collaborative program, sponsored by the Unity in Diversity and the Unity, Pride and Culture committee of Transform Rockford and held on April 23 at the Midway Village and Museum in Rockford.



Mirela Papandreou

Mirela Papandreou’s article “How to Develop the Interdisciplinary Literacy of English Language Learners” was published in the Illinois Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages – Bilingual Education newsletter in April. Mirela is an instructor in the University’s English as a Second Language (ESL) program.



Roxana Idu, Ph.D.


Roxana Idu

Roxana Idu, Ph.D., assistant professor of Economics, Puri School of Business, attended the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education’s (IACBE) annual conference and assembly meeting held in San Francisco, Calif., on April 18- 21. Dr. Idu represented Rockford University, which was recognized as a 20-year charter member of the organization.



Gary Lubbert


Late Associate Professor of Economics, Business and Accounting Gary Lubbert was nominated for the IACBE’s Education Leader of the Year Award. Prof. Lubbert was selected for this prestigious recognition and honored posthumously at Rockford University’s commencement ceremony held on May 13. Prof. Lubbert also was recognized with Emeritus status in honor of his dedicated and meritorious service to Rockford University. Members of Prof. Lubbert’s family were in attendance to accept the awards on his behalf.





Dr. Catherine Forslund


Catherine Forslund

Dr. Catherine Forslund, professor of History, and dean of academic administration presented “John F. Kennedy 1917-2017” to the University Club’s Forbes University Discussion/Lecture Series on Thursday Feb, 9. She also shared “The Legacy of John F. Kennedy in the 100th Year of his Birth,” with the Rockford Downtown Rotary Club on March 30, including in both presentations remarks about JFK’s connections to Rockford with his two visits to the city.




President Eric Fulcomer


Eric Fulcomer

President Eric Fulcomer attended the U.S.-Mexico Higher Education Summit in Guadalajara, Mexico on March 29-31, joining a delegation of 24 presidents from independent colleges across the U.S. According to the organizers of the summit, the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and the Mexican Federation of Private Higher Education Institutions (FIMPES), the purpose of the meetings is to explore partnership opportunities between Mexican and U.S. colleges and universities. The summit, “Reaffirming the North American Spirit of Collaboration in Higher Education: Creating Bridges for Communication” aimed to strengthen relationships for shared opportunities in research and development, exchanges with students and faculty, and crossborder internships.



Dr. Jules Gleicher


Jules Gleicher

Dr. Jules Gleicher, professor of Political Science, attended a lecture on genealogical research techniques, by Steven Flack, of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois, at Temple Beth-El, in Northbrook, Ill., on January 22.



Jeff Hendry


Jeff Hendry Rock Solid

For the second year in a row, Professor of Performing Arts Jeff Hendry has received the award for Best Costume Design from for his work on Mamma Mia! which ran Aug. 10–27, 2016. The show was a production of Maine State Music Theatre, a professional musical theater organization located on the Bowdoin College campus in Brunswick, Maine. Professor Hendry won the 2015 Best Costume Design award for Sister Act and The Music Man.



Giving made simple.


With a little preparation, planned gifts can be made now to immediately support Rockford University’s needs or they can take effect in the future as a way to leave your legacy.
Anyone can make a planned gift. Consider these three popular options:

A gift in your will or revocable living trust.

Work with your attorney to include a few simple sentences in your will or living trust. Plus, you can change your mind at any time because this gift doesn’t go into effect until after your lifetime.

A gift of your retirement plan assets.

By naming us as the primary beneficiary on the designation form for a percentage (1–100) of your account’s final value, you can make a tax-wise gift to support Rockford University.

A gift of your bank or brokerage account.*

By placing a payable on death or transfer on death designation on your bank or brokerage account, you can name our organization to receive the funds.

Leave a Lasting Legacy


Contact us today at 815.394.3756 or to learn more about the benefits of planned gifts.
*State laws govern payable on death accounts and transfer on death accounts. Please consult with your bank representative or investment advisor if you are considering these gifts.